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Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela

The United Kingdom completed its withdrawal from the European Union on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal is commonly referred to as Brexit.

Withdrawal agreement

The EU and the United Kingdom negotiated a withdrawal agreement which has been applicable since 1 February 2020. The agreement contains provisions on a transition period that lasted until the end of 2020.

The withdrawal agreement secures your social security rights based on the EU legislation, if you moved from Finland to the United Kingdom to live, work or study before 2021.  It also guarantees your social security rights if you moved from the United Kingdom to Finland to live, work or study before 2021.

Partnership agreement

After finalising the withdrawal agreement, the EU and the EU negotiated a partnership agreement, officially known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

It protects the social security rights of persons moving between Finland and the United Kingdom in 2021 or later. We will update this page with information on the effects of the new agreement on social security rights.

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021

This section explains how Brexit affects your social security rights if you moved from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom before 2021. 

If you moved to Finland or to the United Kingdom before 2021, you are, in the main, covered by the same EU provisions on social security as before Brexit. The withdrawal agreement protects your social security rights for life or for as long as your circumstances warrant the application of the withdrawal agreement.

One requirement for the entitlement to benefits provided by Kela for British nationals who live and work in Finland and their family members is that they are generally required to be residing legally in Finland. Please follow the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi) as regards applying for a right of residence and the relevant time limits for doing so.

Information about your right of residence is provided to Kela by the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi). Kela obtains information on citizenship and changes in citizenship from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

If you lived in the United Kingdom at the end of 2020 and received a Finnish national pension from Kela, you will continue to receive your pension also once the transitional period has ended.

If you study in the United Kingdom and receive financial aid payments from Finland, the payments will continue also after the transition period. What type of right of residence you have in the United Kingdom is not significant.

If you are posted to the United Kingdom, the certificate A1 issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions regarding coverage under the Finnish social security system will remain in force also after the transition period. A1 certificates issued before 2021 will remain in force until their expiry date if your work in the United Kingdom continues without interruptions.

More information is available on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions in the section on Brexit and employment abroad. 

If you have an A1 certificate issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, you will be eligible for Kela benefits also after the transition period. You will retain your entitlements until the end date of the certificate.

If you have moved from Finland to live in the United Kingdom before 2021 and Finland is responsible for your medical care costs on the basis of receipt of a pension or employment, the entitlement of you and your family members to medical care and to reimbursement for medical care costs remains unchanged also in 2021 and thereafter.

If you are staying in the United Kingdom temporarily, you can prove your right to medically necessary care by presenting your European Health Insurance Card or a certificate provisionally replacing the Card.

If you have moved from the United Kingdom to Finland before 2021, your entitlement to medical care and reimbursements for medical care costs remain unchanged also in 2021 and thereafter. If you are covered for health insurance purposes in Finland, you will continue to have the right to use your Kela card. 

If you are staying in Finland temporarily, for example while travelling or as a student, you can prove your right to medical care and to reimbursements for medical costs by presenting

By presenting your card or the provisional certificate, you can get medically necessary care from public healthcare providers at the same price as the local residents. If you visit a private healthcare provider, you can get reimbursements for the treatment costs, for prescribed medications, and for treatment-related travel costs.

If you or your spouse or partner received such family benefits as child benefits, child care allowances or allowances for parents at the end of 2020, their payment will continue after the transition period has ended.

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom in or after 1 January 2021

This section provides information about the impact of Brexit on your social security entitlements if you move from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom in 2021 or later. Your social security rights are determined on the basis of the EU-UK partnership agreement.

One requirement for the entitlement to benefits provided by Kela for British nationals who live and work in Finland and their family members is that they are generally required to be residing legally in Finland. Apply to the Finnish Immigration Services (migri.fi) for the right to residence.

If you are a recipient of old-age pension or survivor’s pension from Kela and you move to the United Kingdom in 2021 or later, you will continue to receive your pension following the move there.

The payment of a disability pension depends on whether the withdrawal agreement or the partnership agreement (the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement) is applied in your specific situation. If you receive a disability pension and are planning to move to the United Kingdom, please contact Kela before moving in order to determine your entitlement to the pension.

If your posting to the United Kingdom begins in or after 2021, you social security coverage in Finland can continue for up to two years.

You must apply to the Finnish Centre for Pensions for a certificate of posting. Kela obtains information about the certificate from the Finnish Centre Service.

More information is available on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions in the section on Brexit and employment abroad.

If you move with your child from the United Kingdom to Finland in or after 2021, you are eligible for child benefits or child home care allowances. If your child stays in the United Kingdom and you apply for a benefit with payment to start in 2021 or later, it is usually not possible for you to get a child benefit or child home care allowance.

Contact Kela to check if you are entitled to family benefits.

You can get daily allowances for parents just as before Brexit. This means that you are receiving daily allowances for parents at the time you move from Finland to the United Kingdom, the payment will continue until it is scheduled to end. Also persons moving from the United Kingdom to Finland can get daily allowances for parents in the same way as those moving to Finland from another EU country.

If you move from Finland to the United Kingdom in 2021 or later, your right to medical care will be determined in the same way as before Brexit.

If you are staying in the United Kingdom temporarily, you can prove your right to medically necessary care by presenting a European Health Insurance Card issued in Finland or a certificate provisionally replacing the Card.

If you move to Finland from the United Kingdom in 2021 or thereafter, your right to medical care is determined in the same way as before Brexit.

If you are staying in Finland temporarily, you can prove your right to medical care and to reimbursements for medical expenses by presenting

By presenting the card or the certificate, you can visit a public healthcare provider to get medically necessary care during a temporary stay in Finland at the same price as the local residents. If you visit a private healthcare provider, you can get reimbursements for the treatment costs, for prescribed medications, and for treatment-related travel costs.

If you move temporarily from Finland to the United Kingdom and you do not work there, you can get unemployment benefit from Finland.

If you work part-time or sporadically in the United Kingdom but live in Finland, you cannot get unemployment benefit from Finland. If unemployment benefit is paid at an adjusted rate for the period of part-time or sporadic work, the benefit is paid from the country of employment.

When you apply for an unemployment benefit from Finland the employment periods in the United Kingdom can be included in the work requirement.

As a rule, unemployment allowance from Finland is no longer paid for job-seeking in the United Kingdom as of 1 January 2021. For further information on job-seeking, please contact the TE Services.

If you work part-time or sporadically in Finland but live in the United Kingdom, you cannot get unemployment benefit from the United Kingdom. If unemployment benefit is paid at an adjusted rate for the period of part-time or sporadic work, the benefit is paid from the country of employment.

When you apply for an unemployment benefit from the United Kingdom the employment periods in Finland can be taken into account in connection with the unemployment benefit from the United Kingdom.

Last modified 8/11/2023

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